Posts Tagged ‘webinar’

Get Thee to a Lawyer: What You Need to Know About Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law

Monday, January 27th, 2014
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Last week, Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) held a webinar about Canada’s new anti-spam law. I attended the webinar, which was led by copyright and intellectual lawyer Barry Sookman.

Here’s the first thing you need to know: I am not a lawyer. The law is intricate, confounding, and complex, and this blog post should in no way be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions, consult a lawyer.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) becomes effective as of July 1, 2014. Sookman says it is a four-part legislation:

  • Anti-Spam: Deals with more than just “spam” as we think of it. The law will apply to the transmission of commercial electronic messages, whether it’s “spam” or not.
  • Spyware and malware: The legislation has been drafted in very broad terms to prohibit installation of any computer program, whether it’s malware or benign software.
  • Amendment to a national privacy law that prohibits address and personal information harvesting. This includes automated programs that collect email addresses.
  • Amendment to the competition act: An anti-trust act regarding false or misleading misrepresentation that has now been augmented with provisions making it illegal for emails to include misrepresentations. The definitions are very broad, and even extend to URLs included in an email and the subject line

Here’s the other top thing you need to know: If your organization sends any electronic messages to Canadian citizens, your organization can be found liable, whether you are based in or out of Canada. If your organization is headquartered outside Canada but has affiliate offices in Canada, those affiliate offices, and any messages you send to them, fall under the scope of CASL.

It’s worth noting that the business community in Canada wanted much more time to implement compliance, as the July 1 deadline may not give enough time for many to comply, since developing a compliance program means considering a number of pieces of legislation and regulatory laws.

Not complying can bring hefty penalties: Sookman warns that after a hearing, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) can impose a monetary penalty of up to $10 million, and a private right of action can cost offending companies $1 million per day for breach of spam and malware provisions.

As I said before, the law is opaque and contradictory, so I’m not going to explain a lot of terminologies and provisions that Sookman explained. Instead, I’ll highlight a few very basic principles and once again encourage you to consult a lawyer.

  • Legislation dictates that organizations cannot send electronic messages unless the recipient has consented (there’s a lot of confusion behind express and implied consent, which is best explained by a lawyer). There must be a specific, prescribed unsubscribe option. This includes not just messages to email, but also to instant message and texts.
  • There are certain exceptions if your organization has an existing business relationship with the recipient, but when it comes to implied or express consent, there are many contradictory indications of when each applies.
  • The spyware/malware provisions deal with any computer programs. Sookman says that organizations need to be concerned about these provisions, as the requirements are not consistent with current business practices.
  • There is a general prohibition against a business installing programs on a computer system. If your organization has specific software clients need to run, this applies. You must acquire consent and change your websites, agreements, permissions, and download processes.

CASL makes the U.S.’s requirements look like an easy hurdle; it goes far beyond the scope of the U.S.’s CAN-SPAM Act, which includes requiring senders to tell recipients how to opt out of future emails and honoring those opt-out requests promptly. It’s likely that opt-outs will have far more prescriptions and specifications that those laid out by CAN-SPAM.

Sookman recommends that organizations begin with the following:

  • Ensuring the due diligence defense applies to them. This means that your organization takes all reasonable steps to develop a compliance program that applies even at board level, and that the organization has a policy to ensure regular updates and policy implementation. Sookman says that following guidelines may should like a reasonable way to follow due diligence, but a misunderstanding of the law will not help you establish a due diligence defense.
  • Conduct a review or survey of each department to identify current communications or software installation practices, methods of obtaining consent, and unsubscribe techniques.
  • Develop a plan to address gaps, establish procedures to ensure ongoing compliance and institutional monitoring of CASL activities
  • Start obtaining express consent ASAP
  • Check out the McCarthy Tetrault toolkit
  • Consult a lawyer

In short, CASL applies to a lot more organizations that I thought it would. There’s a good chance CASL applies to your organization. With less than six months until go-time, consult a lawyer and get moving.

Even if your organization has no affiliation with Canada, SIIA still provided access to a great lesson: we still have to pay attention, because it’s possible that if CASL is effective, the U.S. and other countries could follow suit and tighten regulations. Has your organization taken steps to comply with CASL? Do you think similar regulations could take hold in other countries should CASL prove effective?

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Copyright Compliance – What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know

Friday, December 7th, 2012

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Copyright Compliance - What Every Media Relations Professional Should KnowCopyright Compliance What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time: 1pm EST

Register Now!

As a communications or PR practitioner, you are under increasing pressure to prove the value of what you do. Now, with technology and the availability of digital content, the line between sharing and plagiarizing becomes increasingly blurred.

Anyone can pull material from the Internet, share it, and declare it their own. It is easy for organizations and professionals to unwittingly fall into the plagiarism trap. The consequences of copyright infringement also are serious and content providers are enforcing laws to protect and manage the rights of their content.

Join BurrellesLuce and Wilma K. Mathews, head of the IABC ethics committee and a respected faculty member at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, for this 60-minute educational webinar, “Copyright Compliance: What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.” 

In this webinar, Wilma will review plagiarism and copyright violations, using real-life examples to explain why it is important to educate yourself, your staff and employees about both.

During the session you will learn:

  • The difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement.
  • How the Internet is making everyone a plagiarist.
  • How writers may be putting their companies in jeopardy.
  • How to check for plagiarism or copyright infringement.

Register Now!

Johna Burke, senior vice president, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Copyright Compliance: What Every Media Relations Professional Should Know.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at .


Wilma MathewsWilma K. Mathews is a fellow and accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Mathews currently serves as chair of the IABC Ethics Committee. She previously served as chair of the IABC Research Foundation and the Accreditation Council, and twice was a member of the IABC executive board. She is a Gold Quill winner for media relations and writing. She is co-author of On Deadline: Managing Media Relations.

Acts of Balance Webinar: The Conflict Diet – 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life (Part 2)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

In a previous blog post, I introduced you to some of the concepts I learned from a webinar with communications and leadership expert Alan Cohen. Alan has worked with BurrellesLuce on a number of complimentary webinars, including “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros – Finding Your MoJo in Delicate Discussionssm.” (Available free on-demand on the BurrellesLuce Website.)

In his latest, through his Acts of Balance Coaching practice, he tackled “The Conflict Diet: 5 Ways to Reduce Unwanted Conflict From Your Life.”  

During the webinar Alan gave the audience three different scenarios with options on how each of the modes might address each of the situations. I was surprised to learn that all of my “gut responses” landed in the “collaborating” category, while my second choice was typically to “accommodate,” or simply “avoid” the situation all together.

Just after the webinar I found myself in the middle of a conflict that had been building for some time, but that I had been avoiding – in part because I wasn’t sure a conflict even existed and also to please the other parties and keep the peace just in case one did.  Armed with new knowledge from Alan’s webinar, I decided to simply observe my interactions during said conflict. After some honest reflection, I began to see a cycle emerge.

Initially, I choose to “avoid” the subject, only to later be thrown a curve where I was forced to address the conflict. Quickly I moved in to “compete” mode after not having my own needs addressed for some time. Then I found myself reverting back to the natural tendency to “collaborate” because I could clearly see both sides of the conflict and wanted everyone’s needs to be addressed. As the issue grew more tiresome I downgraded to “compromise,” only to lose resolve and “accommodate.” While a resolution was eventually reached, I still have some lingering doubts – even weeks later – and find myself mulling over the issue and not completed satisfied with the outcome. Was I really always that accommodating and, as Alan describes, a people-pleaser?

Soon I began to reflect on other conflicts where the outcome had left me feeling less than satisfied. I found that the tendency to collaborate only to eventually yield (accommodate) happened more often than not, usually when I received push back to the point where the conflict grew tiresome and it was more likely to happen when communication was impersonal (e.g, via phone, text, email, etc). In fact, in the most recent conflict, I came to realize that accommodating actually had given way to compliancy (and had for some time) to the extent that it was beginning to affect other areas of my life. What an eye opener!

So what is a savvy, self-aware professional to do? Alan suggests D.I.E.T.S to help eliminate conflict and see more of the resolutions you want.

1.  Detect your feelings. If our peace is disturbed, or we find ourselves obsessing – these feelings signal that there is something wrong and we need to stop and examine what it is. Alan reminds us that thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings create our actions and results. By identifying feelings we can identify the thoughts that are driving them and make changes.

2.  Identify the feelings of others. Emotionally Intelligent people understand their own emotions and better understand where other people are coming from. Though we can’t read minds, we can tap into our intuition – our gut feelings – and read the body language of the people with whom we are in conflict.

3.  Evaluate the situation. What are the facts of the situation? What are other interpretations of the situation? Once we evaluate we need to decide how to proceed based on the situation, the value we place on the relationship, and where we see things going in the future.

4.  Try a course of action. Each mode of conflict resolution has its own set of skills. However, there are core skills common to all, including active listening, clarifying, and validation.

5.  Study the outcome and commit to improve. Once we’ve entered and done our best to resolve the conflict, look at what worked and didn’t work and examine what we want to do to guarantee future success.

How are you managing conflict? What other tips can you suggest to Fresh Ideas readers?


Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers 

PR Industry Conferences: Connecting, Networking, Mentoring

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Like many of you, I attended the 2012 PRSA International Conference (as well as PRSSA—student conference) in San Francisco.  Since returning, I’ve been following many blog posts on what PR professionals (and students) learned and took away from the myriad sessions offered.  However, one post really struck me and I’d like to expand on it.

Shonali Burke posted to her Waxing Unlyrical blog that she believes the true value of these conferences has more to do with connecting and networking.  She says:

“The point is in collectively sharing, and participating in, and learning about, and growing our industry together.”  “The point is in relating to each other as people, and not just as ‘networkers,’ or ‘prospects’.  Because when we take the time to get to know the people behind the prospects, we learn what makes each other tick. We’re able to help each other out, even if there’s nothing in it for us.”

She goes on to say:

“And though we may not walk away with new business signed and sealed, I can guarantee you that the people we take the time to connect with – because we genuinely like and respect them, or we were just being nice – will remember us when someone asks for a referral, or has a job opening.”

I personally, met nearly 20 people in real life that I previously had only known through social media, as well as re-connected with a number of industry leaders that I only get to see that one time of year at a conference. It allows us to solicit feedback on our services related to the PR pros business—to ensure what we are offering is what they need. 

But, I’d like to go even one step further and encourage every PR pro (whether they are a PRSA member or not) to take some additional time and invest in the future of our profession by offering to mentor young pros or about-to-be pros (students).  Your practical guidance can complement their education, sharpening their focus on their career goals and helping them develop the professional and interpersonal skills they’ll need as they navigate the real-world. Students need your help, advice and friendship as they evolve into tomorrow’s public relations leaders. 

There is also the benefit of reverse mentoring. Ken Jacobs, principal at Jacobs Communications Consulting, recently talked about reverse mentoring in a BurrellesLuce webinar, “Managing, Motivating, and Leading Millennials,” which is available for download, by clicking the link. Your mentee very well may help you learn more about yourself and other generations.  They know things you may not and can teach you new job-specific skills. After all, we know that in this profession we never stop learning! Mentoring may even give your organization an edge when it comes to recruitment, as well as help making you a more effective manager.

The time to start investing in your mentoring relationships is now.  Are you ready? Please share your mentoring success stories here on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog.

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Managing, Motivating, and Leading Millennials

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

BurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Managing, Motivating, and Leading MillennialsBurrellesLuce Complimentary Webinar: Managing, Motivating, and Leading Millennials

When: Monday, October 22, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm EDT

Register Now!

The PR industry is recovering faster than the economy. So your organization must renew its focus on effectively engaging and inspiring Millennials, our largest and fastest-growing pool of PR professionals. That’s because they’re once again getting choosy about the firms where they work.

Is your organization Millennial-friendly? Join BurrellesLuce and Ken Jacobs, principal at Jacobs Communication Consulting, LLC, and find out!

This webinar will provide knowledge about this demographic group that will help attendees to better understand and lead them, while reducing the frustration many Gen-Xers and Boomers report in attempting to do so.

  • The 10 most important traits you must understand about Millennials.
  • The 20 most important actions you can take to help you manage, lead and motivate Millennials more effectively.
  • The dichotomy of their exaggerated-yet-delicate sense of self.
  • Why they want freedom, yet desire structure and frequent feedback.
  • Key differences between Millennials and Gen-Xers.
  • What they want from their work environment…and from you.
  • How to optimize your communications with them.

Register Now!

Johna Burke, senior vice president, marketing, BurrellesLuce

Space is limited. Sign up now for this free webinar, “Managing, Motivating and Leading Millennials.” If we are unable to accept your registration, an on-demand presentation will be available for review after the event at